Fourteen very deserving Guyanese Americans in film, television, theater, radio and music were honored with City Council proclamations, plaques and citations from the Guyana Tri-State Alliance and the Guyanese Consulate on the evening of June 8, as hundreds of their compatriots poured into Brooklyn Borough Hall to celebrate the 46th anniversary of their beloved country’s independence.
The start-studded group included: Actor and director Marc Gomes, film producer and actress Rhona Fox, TV producer and director Tanuja Raghoo, radio producer Angela Massiah, communications and media professor Dr. Vibert Cambridge, and film directors and producers Mason Richards, Clairmont Chung, Dr. Paloma Mohamed, Mahadeo Shivraj and Major Mike Charles, “King of Drums” Akoyaw Rudder, master drummer Winston “Jeggae” Hoppie, and Guyana’s musical visionary and premier panist Rudy Bishop and broadcaster and playwright Francis Farrier, who was recognized for 50 years of service which has left a lasting impression on countless lives throughout Guyana.
The event was co-sponsored by City Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene and the Guyana Tri-State Alliance, headed by Patricia Jordon-Langford.
Host of the evening, Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Sandra Chapman, expressed her own immense pleasure at having the audience as her guests at Borough Hall.
Dr. Eugene delivered not only his own greetings but those of Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the City Council at large. He was later joined by Council Members Letitia James and Jumaane Williams, along with Assemblyman Nick Perry.
The evening’s keynote speaker was George Talbot, Guyana’s ambassador to the United States, who spoke of the country’s successful exploration for oil and precious minerals and the vast promise of the South American continent that is opening to Guyana for people to people exchange. He stated, “If there is a note I wish to sound tonight it is a note of cooperation. Each and every one of us, both at home and abroad, must play our part and help our leaders make the best of this special moment as the country is on the threshold of unprecedented progress. We must ensure that our nation is well positioned to seize the opportunity of this time.”
A presentation of flowers was also made to Enid Fraser by Ms. Jordon-Langford in recognition of Ms. Fraser’s 94th birthday.
The evening’s festivities included a piano interlude by Dr. Keith Proctor, performances by students from the Verna Walcott Dance Studio as well as the Tassa Drummers, along with a rendition of the Whitney Houston hit song “I Will Always Love You,” sung by 11-year-old Victoria Labban.
The audience was also treated to the showing of two short films written and directed by Guyanese cinematographers: Mason Richards’ “The Seawall” winner of a Cannes film festival award, and Marc Gomez’ “Stir Crazy,” which is being shown at film festivals around the world.
The evening concluded with a reception in the Rotunda.